Finals Week 3 – A coach’s address: Clear eyes, full hearts

“When Jason Street went down in the first game of the season, everybody wrote us off. Everybody. And here we are at the championship game. Right now 40,000 people have also written us off. But there are a few who do still believe in you, a few who’d never give up on you. When you take that field, those are the people I want in your minds. Those are the people I want in your hearts. Every man at some point is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself. This game is not over, this battle is not over. So let’s hear it one more time, together. Clear eyes, full hearts, CAN’T LOSE!”
-Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights
Last4_2016

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
This is your chance.
Yours.
There is no deserve.
There is no what if.
There is only now.
There only is.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Your story is no more compelling than any other.
To you, it may seem more compelling. To you it may seem that those January sessions, where you busted your backside in sprints, makes you more deserving of victory tonight.
Maybe the sacrifices that you made in your recovery persuade you that you deserve this win more than our opponents.
But let me tell you: they do not.
Do you think our opposition haven’t earned this win as much as we have?
Do you think that you are so special, that the Gods will shine only on you?

 

No.
This game is for you in only one way.
To make your own story.
For you.
For no one else.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Strange, mysterious alchemy is at work for you now.
Like a wave, breaking this way and not that.
We seek not to understand it.
We seek not to measure it.
We seek only to ride it.
To stand up.
To surf it.
To feel the elemental energy transferred to you.
To feed you.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Ask not why you.
Why you and not another.
Ask not whether you are ready.
You are ready.
For only the ready reach this place.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Your window is now open.
Not next year.
Not the year after.
But now.
Right now.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Feel pride in your efforts; your efforts have gotten you here.
Others will have patted your back.
Parents, friends, media.
But.
Feel humility too, in your luck.
For without luck you would not be here.
Know this.
The dominant culture of our times; that of the individual; the Facebook look-at-me culture; the private school fee -paying, private health fund -paying, go-back-to-where-you-came-from, I’m-alright-thanks-Jack-culture, does not like to admit the role of luck in our very existence.
We suckle at the lie of merit.
But.
We only ever earn a small part of things.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
Nothing makes you more deserving than any other.
But you are here now.
And this is your time.
For whatever reasons.
For reasons we can never know.
For no reasons at all.
For it just is.
It is yours.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants.
This is your chance.
Yours.
There is no deserve.
There is no what if.
There is only now.
There only is.
Clear eyes. Full hearts.

 

Cats, Swans, Dogs, Giants. When Carlton beat us/ when we were smashed in the Qualifying Final/ when Bob Murphy went down in the third game of the season/ when the finals started, everybody wrote us off. Everybody. And here we are on the brink of the championship game. Right now 40,000 people have also written us off. But there are a few who do still believe in you, a few who’d never give up on you. When you take that field, those are the people I want in your minds. Those are the people I want in your hearts. Every man at some point is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself. This game is not over, this battle is not over. So let’s hear it one more time, together. Clear eyes, full hearts, CAN’T LOSE!”

 

 

Bounce the ball.

 

 

“Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable, and we will all, at some point in our lives… fall. We will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts… that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us, and when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”
-Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights

 

About David Wilson

@e_regnans

muddling along.

Comments

  1. I loved Friday Night Lights but always found it quite disturbing that there was so much fuss for High School Football.

    “Well, you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. Either way the sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow morning.” Tammy Taylor

  2. Neil Anderson says:

    Great motivational speech from you and the coaches. For the Dogs I would point to the two ex-Bulldogs standing quietly at the back of the room. John Schultz and Chris Grant and say, do it for them as well.
    I saw John Schultz interviewed last night with Kevin Murray. Such a humble champion is John that when asked why does he sit in the coach’s box these days, he said you will have to ask others about that.
    I don’t think Luke Beveridge even has to point him out to the team. Being at every match as a mentor to Bob Murphy and others is part of Luke’s sublime skills in managing people.
    And of course John is the perfect link back to the last grand-final appearance.

  3. Thanks, e.r.
    Very much enjoyed Friday Night Lights (the film), e.r.
    Couldn’t really get into the tv series.

  4. G’day Gill – fair point. I find this applies equally to adult sport. Adult anything, really.

    Neil – it’s a heady mixture of mystery and effort, fate and skill, that have your Dogs yapping into Finals Week 3. Who knows where it will end? No one.
    I think of K Hinkley and that one year of rollicking high wire Port footy.
    But rolling into each game, clear of eye & full of heart must help.
    I assume the opposition are also doing this.

    Smokie- I had half an ear on that TV series, as Nothofagus cunninghammii here gorged. That Coach Taylor one of those “makers of men,” taking the rough hewn adolescent individuals of ability and forging them as team.
    Classic teaching/ coaching/ father-figure character.

  5. Dave, Ive just run though the change room door pumped to the eyeballs. And then I pulled a hammie
    Cheers
    TR

  6. george smith says:

    “Well, you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. Either way the sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow morning.” Tammy Taylor

    Yes but Gill, if you lose a grand final, there are only two songs to describe that feeling, the feeling us Magpies know only so well:

    “On a Sunday morning sidewalk, wishing Lord that I was stoned
    For there’s something in a Sunday, that makes a body feel alone…”(Kris Kristofferson)

    The second is “American Pie”, watching Jesaulenko, Briedis, Harmes, Akermanis and Bartel do a good approximation of Mick Jagger and his Satan dance while I look on, like Don McLean, with fists clenched with impotent rage. The last verse describes Don wandering around in a daze the following day, looking for some non existent “Happy News”.

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    “The dominant culture of our times; that of the individual; the Facebook look-at-me culture; the private school fee -paying, private health fund -paying, go-back-to-where-you-came-from, I’m-alright-thanks-Jack-culture, does not like to admit the role of luck in our very existence.
    We suckle at the lie of merit.”

    Bang on ER – Percy Jones believes luck helped Carlton beat Collingwood in 1970 and 79. He told me so last week to my astonishment. What do I know? Love the tone of the piece. Hope luck is with the Doggies, along with the their burgeoning brevity and belief.

  8. Straight into the hyperbaric chamber, TR. At altitude.

    George – “sad songs say so much.”

    Phil – Ahh, Percy Jones’ awareness of the role of luck is not surprising. Great story.
    And still the meritocracy myth is sold by marketers everywhere. “You deserve it.”
    No, you don’t.
    (Or why you? Why not someone else?)

    We take each moment as it comes.
    Do what we can.
    Best of luck to all those left in 2016.

  9. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    This somehow makes me feel better about the game on Friday night …

    Because we DO seek to understand it, Mountain Ash, even if it is immeasurable.
    And hence words, lots of them, like this and all the others that come from peering in the window.

    Going to try to respond, Coach Regnans, and toss them all out the window til the ball is on the boot and in the air and sailing.

  10. Great stuff OBP geez some truth in re the Kath and Kim look at me,look at me culture.i am right behind you,TR knee,hammies,groins etc I love,Bevridge but always be pissed off re the Talia stupidity as Neil knows the dogs lost a premiership player out of that his only real blunder so far

  11. Glad it helped, MdH.
    I’m hopeful of one day finding a Lewis Carroll -level of understanding.

    Good one OBP.
    It all comes down to moments (and what you do with them).

  12. Luke Reynolds says:

    ER- can I book you in to come and speak to the troops at my cricket club?! Inspired.

    Making your own story. Taking your chances. Luck. Bring on the Prelims. Can’t wait.

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